There’s no doubt that our historic buildings, Central Hall Westminster, Nicolson Square Edinburgh and St Saviourgate York contain many secrets from the past within their walls. However, what may be less of a secret is how they are preserved.

All three CHV venues are listed as buildings of special architectural and historic interest. According to Historic England, listing also brings a building under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations.

Nicolson Square Edinburgh is the oldest of CHV’s buildings, dating back to 1815, while St Saviourgate York was built in 1840. Central Hall Westminster is relatively ‘young’ compared to these two as it was first inaugurated as a meeting venue in 1912. The older a building is, and the fewer surviving examples of its kind, the more likely it is to be listed, explains Historic England.

Only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I listed, known as being ‘of exceptional interest’. Both Central Hall Westminster and St Saviourgate York are Grade II* listed which means they are particularly important buildings of more than special interest. Only 5.8% of listed buildings fall into Grade II* listing, the rest (91.7%) are Grade II, known as ‘special interest.’

Meanwhile, Nicolson Square Edinburgh comes under the Scottish system of listing from Category A to Category C of buildings which are of special architectural or historic interest. Built in the classical style, NSE falls into the top Category A of buildings of which are outstanding examples of a particular period, style or building type.

All listed buildings in England only are registered under a National Heritage List for England (NHLE), while in Scotland they are listed under Historic Environment Scotland.

Interestingly, it is not known exactly how many listed buildings there are in the country as a single entry can sometimes cover several individual units, for example a row of terraced houses.

Being a listed building however does not mean it has to be frozen in time and never changed. It simply means that listed building consent must be applied for before any changes are made which might affect its special interest.

As bustling buildings for events of all kinds, as well as working Methodist Churches, we love our buildings to be used and enjoyed. Being a listed building does not affect its function as a fully working building with all the tech and facilities needed for events from conferences to concerts. However, whenever installing anything new, such as technical equipment or lighting, we always make sure it won’t compromise the very special character and originality of the building while looking for the most eco-friendly options.

Ultimately, our aim is to preserve our beautiful historic buildings for many generations to come.